NEW GALAXY S8 AND S8 PLUS REVIEWS
Phones are stale. Whether it’s an iPhone 7, Huawei P10, Sony Xperia XZ Premium or any other flagship phone, they all look and feel the same. But just when I thought a phone couldn’t surprise and delight me any more, the Samsung Galaxy S8 proved me wrong.
From the moment I picked up the S8 – and its larger, 6.2-inch sibling the Galaxy S8+ – I realised it was even more special than I expected. On this evidence, Samsung has surpassed anything we’ve seen before. There are one or two concerns ahead of our full Galaxy S8 review, but right now things are looking bright.
SAMSUNG GALAXY S8 RELEASE DATE AND PRICE
The Galaxy S8 goes on sale globally on April 28 for £689 in the UK and Roughly $860 in the US.
SAMSUNG GALAXY S8 SPECS
• 5.8-inch quad-HD Infinity Display (AMOLED)
• Samsung Exynos 8895 (Europe and Asia) or Qualcomm Snapdragon (USA)
• 4GB RAM, 64GB storage (microSD up to 256GB)
• 3000mAh battery with wireless and fast charging
• Rear camera: 12 megapixels, f/1.7 aperture and dual-pixel sensor
• Front camera: 8 megapixels, f/1.7 and autofocus
• Iris and fingerprint scanner
• Samsung Bixby personal assistant
• Android 7 Nougat with Google Assistant
Let’s start with the design, where nothing comes close to the Galaxy S8. It’s the best-looking phone I’ve ever seen. The curved back nestles perfectly in your palm, while the glass shimmers as light hits it. The three colours – a dark black, bright silver and a grey with a blueish tinge – are all subtle. There’s no ugly white front plate in sight.
The S8 is thin, and incredibly light at 155g, but it feels sturdy and precisely made. It’s IP68 water- and dust-resistant, so it’s good for 30 minutes to depths of 1.5 metres. The glass is a little fingerprint prone, but no worse than any other glass phone I’ve used.
Like the recently launched, and still excellent, LG G6, the front of the Samsung Galaxy S8 is almost all screen. And this is really what makes the S8 stand out. Unlike with the G6, though, the display here melts away into the sturdy metal rim. There’s no ‘Edge’ version this year, because both versions have a sloping panel.
It’s a much subtler curve than on the Galaxy S7 Edge, just like on the Note 7, and that makes it a lot easier to use. There’s still a bit of extra reflection on this portion of the screen, but it’s a small trade-off for such an eye-catching look.
Having such a big display and tiny bezel means there’s no room for the fingerprint-sensing Home button to sit on the front. Instead it’s on the back, next to the camera. It’s one of the few things I don’t like – I hit the camera multiple times when testing it out – but maybe I’ll get used to it.